The Hunting Luck
of Frederick the Great’s General
in one of the thematically
most beautifully harmonized pendants
“ Rarest of all Ridinger Sets ”
Ridinger, Martin Elias (1731 Augsburg 1780). These stags No. 1 and No. 2 so had just one quite well grown antler the first on the left, the other on the right side, however, were opposite to the other antler deficient and abnormal – have His Highness
Augustus William Duke of Brunswick Bevern
( “ The marshal of Frederick the Great known under the name Duke of Bevern ” ,
Brunswick 1715 – Stettin 1781 ) –
stalked himself, the first in the Lörsisch Heath in the year 1759,, the other in the year 1750 in royal Prussian Anterior Pomerania in the Falchenwald forest.
the No. 3,, so equally very strange in the year 1759 in the Mützzelburg hunting ground ditto shot,, And the No. 4 so on one side with just one point, on the other, however, with its points grown back and forth one has found dead near
Old Stettin .
Resting group of four with fawn in bizarre hilly landscape.
These Roe Bucks so also show rare growth of nature and in their kind have a lot variable and pretty, equally by His Ducal Highness
Augustus William Sir Duke of Brunswick Bevern .
The No. 1. so shows like a crown and in the centre a unified grown protruding small antlers was shot in the royal
Farther Pomeranian Mühlenbeck forest hunting ground
= the No. 2. in
Anterior Pomerania in the high noble Stoltzenburg Heath
in the year 1767.
But the one with antlers standing up and down No. 3. shot several years before in the
Oder fen at Stettin called the Black Place .
And finally also No. 4. so was especially strong and large, and showed up to 13 points, of which four also were grown backwards quite below at the crown, was stalked by high hand in
Farther Pomerania in the Hochkrug hunting ground .
Lively group of four with fawn, refreshing in a pool at the edge of the wood. Set back slightly hilly landscape.
2 sheet. Etching with engraving (after his father’s design?). Inscribed: VII. and VIII. resp. / Martin Elias Ridinger Sculp. and Mart. El. Ridinger Sc. resp., otherwise each in German as before. 13¾-13⅞ × 10⅛-10¼ in (35-35.1 × 25.8-25.9 cm).
Ad Ridinger: Thienemann + Schwarz 350/51; Silesian Ridinger collection at Boerner XXXIX, 1870 + Reich auf Biehla Collection 97, both (1885 + 1894 resp.) only Th. 350, thereof the Silesian copy without platemark + mounted. – As then Th. 351 missing also in the 1889/90 Coppenrath torso of the set (no. 1546 of the 2nd division). – In the collection of market sweeper Georg Hamminger (1895) both sheets figured solely within his 44 and 46-sheet resp. almost complete sets (“mostly with wide margin, some sheets with inscription only and mounted. Present very rare sheets.”), yet not with further duplicates as many other of the set.
Ad Duke Augustus William: ADB I, 665 ff. & additionally VI, 261 per Ernst Ferdinand; Meyers Konvers.-Lex., 4th ed., II, 850.
The pair VII/VIII of the 46-sheet set To the Special Events and Incidents at the Hunt (“The rarest set of Ridinger’s sporting line engravings”, Schwerdt 1928), etched exclusively by Johann Elias’ eldest after predominantly his father’s designs and concluded 1779.
At which not only after realization here Martin Elias’ impact on the Ridinger œuvre is much larger than that of an engaged co-worker as engraver only. Already at an age of thirty he just acted as a spiritus rector behind the scene ensuring that sets were completed or, as here, published posthumously.
And as Wolf Stubbe (Joh. El. Ridinger, 1966, pp. 16 f. + pl. 34), going in medias res, celebrates Th. 722, The Wild Bison and the Crocodile, from the Fights of Killing Animals as an artistic zenith of the late work in respect of its luminous efficiency, he pays tribute together, because judging by the plate, not the drawing, to Martin Elias as the etcher/engraver of that work. An aspect illustrating deeply the Ridinger teamwork.
The most northerly situated , in respect of both place and potentate
the two single ones among the about 1600 sheets of Ridinger’s œuvre ,
worked additionally as pair
(“arranged almost throughout so that always two by two harmonize with each other and form pendants, just as they have been sold in pairs, too”, Th., the latter proven here, rarely that fine, by the two tiny holes in the white upper margin each exact to the dot as marks of their being stitched together) in besides evenly strong,
splendidly warm-toned impressions
with the Roman numbers
(“If they are missing, so this indicates later impressions”, Th.; in the mid of the 19th century present ones figured i. a. by substitution per Arab numbers 69/70 in the 3rd edition of the Most Wondrous Deer)
from the old estate of a nobleman
and in such a manner preserved perfectly
and in regard of a date of the event of still 1767 as the year of the father’s death (April 10), also the, however by no means decisive, only inscription by Martin Elias, possibly worked entirely by himself.
On strong laid paper, at least VII with typographic watermark (WANGEN as the preferred quality of the Ridingers?). – Margins above & below 5.3-6.3 cm, laterally 2.7-4.2 cm wide. At the utmost white upper edge of VII faint foxspot, the outer edge of the lower margin of VIII quite minimally browned and with traces of crease.
Thematically finally classic evidence for the set ideal belonging to and “a sort of sequel (to the series) of the ‘Most Wondrous Deer’” (Dr. Morét in Ridinger Catalogue Darmstadt). And at the same time
one of the thematically most beautifully corresponding pendants of the set .
as reflection of the hunting success
of the commandant (since 1746) + governor (since 1758) of Stettin :
Led “(A)t the beginning of the Seven Years’ War … a column of Pomeranian regiments to Saxony and Bohemia and commanded the left flank at Lob(w)ositz October 1st, 1756, where when ammunition run out gave rise to victory by an attack with bayonet. On April 21, 1757, he defeated the Austrians under Königsegg at Reichenberg … ” (Meyers Konversations-Lexikon, 4th ed., II, 850).
“ For his time Bevern was a learned officer, carried weight as a great tactitian, under which one understood special skill in the development of the route columns to the deployment and in all evolutions of the then combat order. – As everywhere Bevern showed exceptional bravery especially near Lowositz, too … (His recommandation given in the morning before the battle of Prague, May 6, 1757, to take the left flank marching at the queue of the route column, column by column at the head … became common practice in the Prussian army since then ”
(ADB I, 665 f.).
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„ nachdem die wunderbare Stangenabwurf-Folge (Wintter’s Aufsezen oder wachstum des Hirschgeweihes hiesiger Lieferung) nun meine Wand ziert, habe ich zwei (Desiderata-)Bitten an Sie. Es fehlt mir … Können Sie mir behilflich sein? “
(Herr C. R., 28. Januar 2015)